Kapakapanui is the closest big hill (1102m) to Richard’s parents house, and there’s a loop track to the top, so despite the fact that it’s very steep in either direction, we decided it would make a good first walk.
The track started out with three river crossings, just to ensure we’d have wet feet all day. It then headed relentlessly up through nice forest, with lots of birds singing in the sunshine. The view down the valley occasionally could be seen, however, generally the vegetation was far too thick (a feature of NZ forest I think). We were therefore happy to reach the top after 2 hrs (signposts said it would take 4 hrs), and look out over the Kapiti Coast. The cloud was coming in over the top of the mountain, but the view did develop whilst we ate our lunch. The track down passed a mountain hut, where we pencilled our names in the book and 2 hrs later we reached the valley in bright sunshine, only to put our now-dry feet back through the river crossings again to finish.